Role and importance of a goalkeeper in handball

Goalkeeper is the most important player for the result effectiveness of its team. Handball rules extracted this player as separated, individual player inside of team game, and gave him/her specific technical and tactical actions that are significantly different from the actions of other players in the field.


Some of the essential features of goalkeeper game are the following:

  • comparing to the all other players in the field, a goalkeeper is the only one who the most directly affects the outcome of each opponent’s attempt to finish the attack;
  • opposed to the other field players, goalkeeper acts independently in the limited space – goalkeeper area;
  • goalkeeper has the most often opportunity to begin attack of its own team;
  • along with all stated features, rules allow the goalkeeper to actively participate in the organization and implementation of ending of attack for its team, the same as other players in the field;
  • because of the special responsibility goalkeeper, more significant than other players, makes a positive or negative emotional state of the entire team;
  • reliable goalkeeper gives extra security to the whole team, which contributes to an increased level of confidence in the team during the match;

Because of the field size on which they are playing, the other players are more oriented on the spatial mobility and speed endurance.



Because of limited dimensions of area in which he/she can move, and because of significantly less time available for motor activity than other field players, goalkeeper is more focused on maximum speed and explosive implementation of simple movements in restricted space  and in restricted time conditions that are not particularly energy demanding.



Goalkeeper is a player with a special significance and specific tasks in handball game. Position that goalkeeper has in the game allows maximum exposure of individual quality and motor creativity, but also  imposes a need for functional cooperation with teammates.


Since the action of a goalkeeper is so specific, it’s very important to take care about individualization and diversity of work in educational and training process. High quality training approach is particularly important in working with beginners and young goalkeepers, where we should respect the biological and psychological differences among age categories and specific anthropological features of each goalkeeper.


Importance of selection in sport

Method of selection represents choice of a person with the most conditions for the development in a supreme athlete.

In order to make a good selection it is necessary to find a good teaching and training methods, programming, planning, and education of coaches.

When selecting young athletes it is necessary, in addition to monitoring of existing and analysis of data from the tests, to collect more detailed information about young athletes: their characteristics, interests, preferences, motivations.

It should be borne in mind that even the best selection based on tests is not a guarantee of success. It can easily happen that individuals, even though they have good results in tests, do not perform well in sports competitions.

Individual differences of young athletes exist even before selection, before the process of education and training. These differences remain in some cases even later, after the process of education and training, so there are cases that talents disappear, and those “medium beginners” in adult age achieve the highest sports results.

Sometimes athletes from a group of talents are not sufficiently motivated

While the  motivation for exercise, progress and training was of crucial importance for group of “medium beginners”.

It can also happen that everyone are in the same way motivated to work, but they all do not achieve the same results.


The main components of selection in sport are:

  • physical constitution
  • psychophysical characteristics
  • mental qualities






Vanja Radic

6 Responses

  1. I’m a 13 year old goalkeeper and this has really helped not for physical purposes but for mentally I feel like this is what I want to follow now. I’ve got a tournament tomorrow in London and this has motivated me. Thank You

    • You are very welcome, Charlie. I am very glad this was helpful for you. Feel free to join our Goalie Community on Facebook! 🙂
      Best of luck for your tournament tomorrow!

  2. My name is Isabella and I’m a 24 year old handball coach of two schools in Brasília – Brazil ( and I also play handball in University of Brasilia) . I want just say that your work, your website and your link on YouTube are helping me so much on my work! We need more of this! More information, more articles, more people teaching each other the bests techniques and exercises so we all can evaluate the sport on our country! Thank you so much, and if you come to Brazil sometime please send me an email! It will be a pleasure to meet you and maybe make a goalkeeper course! Again, thank you!!

    • You are very welcome, Isabella! Thank you for your kind words! I agree completely with you about that we need more educational materials about handball goalkeeping, so that we could all improve and progress! I would love to come to Brazil and make some of the coaching projects! I believe soon some option for my visit to Brazil will open up! 🙂 Stay well!

  3. I’m Ava. Thank you for this website! I’m 12 and am doing a BTEC PE course about handball and netball. Thank you so much for this website- it is absolutely amazing! If I get a distinction in my course than some credit has to go to you. Thank you☺☺☺☺

    • Thank you SO MUCH, Ava!! 🙂 You just made my day! 🙂 Please let me know how it will all go? 🙂 Have a great day!

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